Mike Woodson Should Get More Credit For New York Knicks Success

By A.J. Speier
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

With the New York Knicks success so far this season, many people are looking for an answer on how they have been able to get off to such a hot start.

The Knicks have the Eastern Conference’s best record at 14-5. They also already have two wins under their belt against the second-best team in the conference, the defending NBA champion Miami Heat, who have a 13-5 record.

Last year, the Knicks didn’t get their 14th win until their 29th game of the season. This year, the Knicks got it in their 18th game.

A lot of people credit the Knicks success to Carmelo Anthony’s improved performance from the Olympics. Anthony is currently the third-leading scorer with an average of 26.4 points per game, but he can’t receive too much credit. He finished sixth in scoring with an average of 22.6 points.

Jason Kidd’s leadership has definitely changed the attitude of this team, but the Knicks added other seasoned veterans such as Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace.

Raymond Felton is having a resurgent season with the Knicks after struggling the past year and a half with the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trailblazers. He’s averaging 16.5 points and 6.8 assists this season after averaging 11.4 points and 6.5 assists with the Nuggets and Trailblazers.

Once again though, Felton shouldn’t be given too much credit because the player he replaced, Jeremy Lin, averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists.

J.R. Smith has been having a great season from beyond the arc with a 3-point shooting percentage of .397 and an average of 13.5 points, but he averaged 12.5 last season.

Tyson Chandler averaged 11.3 points and 9.9 rebounds last season, but has improved his offensive game to an average of 12.6 points and 9.9 rebounds.

The Knicks have plenty of players who have improved this season and it’s impossible to pick just one player as the reason for their success.

Mike Woodson is the person most deserving of credit for the success. The Knicks are tied with the third-best offense, averaging 103.2 points and their defense is the eighth-best, allowing 94.7 points.

Woodson’s preach on defense and ball movement has made all the difference in the world. The Knicks boast the league’s third-best 3-point shooting percentage, making 40.7-percent of their shots.

Follow A.J. Speier on Twitter @Ajbisons for articles, news, and all things NBA

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